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Marcus Dowling

Angel Haze “A Tribe Called Red”

Caught up in the ham-handed and hackneyed nature of the delivery and quality of pop music in 2013, it’s entirely possible that you missed the substantive work of either or both rapper Angel Haze and Native American/First Nation production trio A Tribe Called Red. However, a few days prior to Haze’s meltdown on Twitter regarding the delayed release of her debut album Dirty Gold, we were treated to the producers and rapper’s appropriately-titled collaboration, “A Tribe Called Red.” Featuring thunderous percussion and an incredible flow, Haze (who is Cherokee-American) delivers the gospel regarding her connection to her craft. This is an incendiary performance from a provocative talent and is worthy of multiple listens.

Rex Riot featuring Misun “Bird and Bees”

This is a special one. DC’s Rex Riot is a unique producer in that he’s just as influenced by lo-fi indie rock as he is the sturm und drang of EDM’s heavy bass. It’s when his production is paired with the unique, connective and mellifluous vocals of Misun Wojcik (of DC-to-LA success story of a band Misun) that you find the tie that binds Riot’s diverse interests to his sound. The lead single kicking things off for DC’s new EDM-based label CUFF Records, there’s certainly more to come from both Riot and the city’s developing EDM producer community.

Alex Young “SWTRWTHR”

Grown tired of top-40 radio’s devotion to ensuring that when it’s “too co-ooo-o-old,” that you’ll place your hands in the holes of a sweater of a significant other? Well, take a listen to the phenomenal re-work of The Neighbourhood’s pop-rocker by 17-year old Bethesda, Maryland resident (and current Flosstradamus tour opening act) Alex Young. If wanting that track to get you out of bed or that will take you the extra mile at the gym, with feeling, this is the song for you. Big and smoothy, with trap’s crunchy 808s at the end, this is some tangy-sweet peanut butter EDM for the soul.

Kaylee Dugan

Kanye West “The Good Life”

I’m in the land of pineapples, coconuts, AND macadamia nuts. I’ve been eating shave ice almost everyday. Life could not be better.

Svetlana Legetic

I have spent all week listening exclusively to the hot jams of BYT’s BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2014 and our MOST OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED POP SONGS OF 2013. So much to look forward to and so much to be afraid of:

Betty Who “Somebody Loves You”

Pitbull featuring Ke$ha “Timber”

Also, naturally:
The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”

Steven Place

Yung Gleesh “It’s Sad Boy”

Yung Gleesh is next up to put the spotlight on the DMV. He’s doing everything right and building a brand uniquely his own–outside the scope of Wale, Fat Trel, and Shy Glizzy–which is a strategy that could really pay off for the DC rapper longterm. Check him out this Saturday at Velvet Lounge.

Brandon Wetherbee

Kanye West “We Shoulda Never Ever, Ever Let Michael Jordan Play For The Wizards”

Truth and beauty in Chicago.

Scott Walker “The Old Man’s Back Again”


Pandora exists solely to remind me that I enjoy the music of Scott Walker.

Alana Wise

The Joy Formidable “Whirring”

I haven’t been able to stop listening to this song since Songza first introduced us. It’s worth all six and a half minutes for the guitar solo alone.

Whitney Houston “Do You Hear What I Hear”

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret, this is actually my favorite time of year. Despite the yearly Grinchiness, Whitney knows the truth.

Stephen Colbert “Another Christmas Song”

Stephen knows the truth too.